Marshall Plan And The Post Research Paper

Length: 20 pages Sources: 10 Subject: Drama - World Type: Research Paper Paper: #17805296 Related Topics: Global Civilization, Marxist Criticism, Joseph Stalin, Israeli Palestinian Conflict
Excerpt from Research Paper :

Thus, paramount American interests were to be presented as being really the interests of the Europeans themselves. It would be a situation wherein America was simply helping along people who were, at present, unable to adequately help themselves. The concept had much in common with the goals of many charity or self-help organizations - people grow and are transformed by learning to help themselves. They are given assistance so as to be enabled to learn the skills and life ways necessary to improve their own conditions. Naturally, everything that was in the "real" interests of Europeans would also be in the interests of the United States. The more similar the peoples of the two continents could become, the more readily Europeans could identify their own aspirations with those of the American people, the closer would be the bond between the two sides. In effect, the new post-War Europe would be an Americanized Europe - the once colonized colonizing the motherland.

As a consequence, the United States found itself embroiled in the political and social controversies of Europe. France, in the late 1940s, was riven by dissent among the various political and social factions. Labor unrest was high and the government was in a terrible financial condition. An alliance of political parties including conservatives and socialists, the Third Force, maintained a fragile control of the state, as Americans, desperate to introduce the aid promised by the Marshall Plan, look on. Any delay in introducing the Marshall Plan was seen as a threat to future American interests, as it would prevent the United States from intervening actively in French affairs.

France faced escalating prices at home, coupled with a funds crisis that was exemplified by its perilous balance of trade. The French were producing enough to satisfy domestic needs, but there was little incentive to export goods that would offset French international debts.

While French officials proposed a process of "sterilization" of funds, in which large amounts of liquidity would be introduced from the outside i.e. The Marshall Plan, few French were willing to put up with the austerities that this scheme would demand.

Thus was another problem introduced into the American effort to turn the Europeans in their direction. By injecting itself in the middle of fundamental debates over French life, the United States was creating real difficulties at the time, and potential problems down the road. The Third Force was strongly anti-communist, but the power of the socialists within the coalition, and the continual infighting between them and the more conservative and traditionalist elements within the government showed the great strains presented by the arrangement. Socialism is not ideologically terribly far from communism. France, as was other European countries of the period, greatly affected by the lure of systems which purported to bring help to all segments of the population, and to level inequalities. If the American aid plan were to be seen as forcing Frenchmen to accept a status quo in which the masses would be compelled to accept a comparatively poor standard of living, many might turn to more radical solutions. The Communists were initially favorable to the government and participated in the first post-War coalition government, their ministers being expelled only in 1947 when the Third Force came to power, the expulsion a sign that battle lines were hardening between the right wing Gaullists and the forces of the left.

The same cleavage was opening in France as was opening in other European countries. The desperately needed infusion of funds that was represented by the Marshall Plan could prove to be a double-edge sword, hardening class distinctions and driving supporters of both sides to greater extremes, and possibly toward open conflict.

The full spectrum of Marshall Plan implications, pro and con, was demonstrated by the Italian Parliamentary Elections of 1948. The issues presented here drew into the conflict passionate voices on both sides of the Atlantic. Italian-Americans followed the developments closely as factions within their ancestral land battled for the future of Italy. The strength of the communist movement in Italy as a result of Italy's defeat and devastation in the Second World War no doubt contributed to a hardening of anti-communist attitudes among Italian-Americans. Though discriminated against by the restrictive quotas of 1920s immigration law - laws that were still in full effect in the late 1940s - they saw it worth their while to identify...


Ominously; however, the Communists and Socialists were combined under the name of the Popular Front - a clear statement of their general manifesto that they, and their Marxist ideologies, represented a genuine concern for average Italians. The United States also attacked the Italian situation in terms of international disputes. America supported Italy's claims to Istria and Trieste, both of which had been taken away from Italy after World War II. Americans also supported an end to the crushing reparations Italy had been forced to pay, advocating as well, the position that Italy should be able to receive payments from Germany - payments she had been forbidden to receive because of her former role as one of Hitler's allies - as a response to the brutal post-1943 Nazi occupation of the country.

American labor unions with large Italian memberships also worked to raise funds for the anti-communist fight in Italy, sending money to De Gasperi's campaign.

Once again, the Marshall Plan was being administered with an eye toward the Americanization of another potential friend in the larger global fight against Soviet communism. In Italy, a country considered industrially backward prior to the war, the development of capitalism as an institution appeared as a fundamental issue in American strategy. As New York Times correspondent, Michael L. Hoffman, described the situation, "The idea of persuading the low income consumer to feel the need for something he's never had, using advertising, and then to give it to him at a price he can afford, could be the Marshall Plan's biggest contribution to Italy -- if it gets anywhere."

American funds would constitute a crash course in the benefits of capitalist living. Lower income Italians, like similar populations in other European nations, would be shown that their interests lay with the system that could most easily and successfully raise their standard of living. Consumer goods would be shown as desirable, and a life of creature comforts something for which it would be worth fighting.

The Italian campaign revealed yet more of the all-embracing nature of the Marshall Plan. Targeted would be not merely the working people of Italy, those unaccustomed to the wonders of modern technology, but children across the European continent. American planners recognized the need to shape the hearts and minds of the young as being foundations upon which a future favorable to America and its ideals could be built. If American ideas were to be imported and fully embraced, a fertile ground had to be prepared for their acceptance. As part of "Operation Bambi," Mobile puppet shows, ostensibly for children, were actually also used to reach illiterate and semi-literate adults to teach them the values of a capitalist society.

By showcasing the tangible material benefits of capitalism, proponents of the Marshall Plan hoped to achieve success on a variety of levels. An appreciation of capitalist principles would prepare the way for an expansion of American businesses in Europe. In addition, these businesses would be more likely to adopt American methods if those methods were presented as part of the aid package, and taught to youngsters and those first making their way under changing post-War economic conditions. Such aims frequently faced local criticisms, as in Italy. There, the European Recovery Plan was blamed for the fall-off in hemp production, a significant industry in the area, while still others complained that the Marshall Plan put obstacles in the way of trade with the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc - potentially lucrative sources of income.

Further, Italian communists claimed that, Czechoslovakia, while not yet under the full control of Communist forces, had actually been forced to import wine, oranges, oil, lemons, and rice on American orders - a fact to which Italian Primie Minister De Gasperi had turned "a deaf ear."

The American propaganda that accompanied the Marshall Plan emphasized the strides being made by American technology, and the importance of continued bold innovation in modern economic systems. As Stephen Gundle showed, even in contentious Italy,

Communist militants and sympathizers adapted by making their own…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Adelman, Carol. "Foreign Aid: Effectively Advancing Security Interests." Harvard International Review 29.3 (2007): 62+.


Agnew, John, and J. Nicholas Entrikin, eds. The Marshall Plan Today: Model and Metaphor. London: Routledge, 2004.

Cite this Document:

"Marshall Plan And The Post" (2008, May 07) Retrieved September 17, 2021, from

"Marshall Plan And The Post" 07 May 2008. Web.17 September. 2021. <>

"Marshall Plan And The Post", 07 May 2008, Accessed.17 September. 2021,

Purpose of

The documents we provide are to be used as a sample, template, outline, guideline in helping you write your own paper, not to be used for academic credit. All users must abide by our "Student Honor Code" or you will be restricted access to our website.

Related Documents
Marshall Plan Designing Europe in
Words: 2734 Length: 10 Pages Topic: Drama - World Paper #: 87505920

The economic pragmatism that the Marshall Plan demonstrates for the United States is not necessarily as clearly observable form a basic look at history as is the containment of communism. The decades following World War II and the implementation of the Marshall Plan were definitely economically successful fro Europe and for the United States, but how this relates directly to the Marshall Plan and not simply to the end of

Marshall Plan and Its Results
Words: 2005 Length: 7 Pages Topic: American History Paper #: 62870344

The military dictatorship simply favored specific economic interests, notably large tourist enterprises, urban real estate and construction, and shipowners. The basic weaknesses of the Greek economy, including social inequities and the lack of competitiveness in the country's new manufacturing sector, remained untreated. They would resurface in acute form with the world economic crisis of the early 1970s (Postwar Recovery (" The initial reaction by Greek politicians was not to accept

Post-War Italy a Time of
Words: 3220 Length: 11 Pages Topic: Drama - World Paper #: 58981796

From the end of the War to the early 1950s, the Bank of Italy was credited for attracting and managing international aid, which helped bring the country out of a steep state of emergency and on the path of reconstruction. International aid came from Interim Aid, the Marshall Plan and the World Bank (Einaudi). Italy's Technical Redesign A substantial part of Italian construction legacy was destroyed during World War II and

Effects of the Post World War II Occupation on Japan's Government...
Words: 3528 Length: 10 Pages Topic: Government Paper #: 82503553

War and Occupation: The Effects of the U.S. Occupation on Japan's Government and Politics The recent change in the American foreign policy direction which has seen the replacement of its traditional anti-colonialist tilt by the neo-conservative belief of guided nation building evokes a lot of interest in the history of United State's occupation of post world war II Japan. Although each such occupation is different -- the political, social and cultural

Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas
Words: 3486 Length: 8 Pages Topic: Business - Law Paper #: 4409013

Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas Ever since Clarence Thomas, a conservative, replaced Thurgood Marshall, a liberal, on the United States Supreme Court in 1991, there has been constant comparison between the two African-American justices. Just this past month, in June 2005, Thomas again drew attention and comparison to Marshall concerning two Supreme Court decisions. Thomas was one of three justices who disagreed when the Court stated that a Texas killer's rights were

Using Marvin Marshall's Raise Responsibility System to Developing...
Words: 925 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Teaching Paper #: 80401450

Responsibility in Student Behavior Previous research on behavior modification has varied in effectiveness with specific type of behavior, or class of behaviors, and the specific type of behavioral intervention (Packer, 2010). The research shows programs that attempt to teach skills, such as self-control and responsibility, as well as incorporate parents and home tend to be more effective than programs that just promote discipline or obedience. The management of contingencies, such as